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GarageBand '11 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers


From:

GarageBand '11 Essential Training

with Todd Howard

Video: Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers

There's one thing that every audio recording application on the market has in common, and GarageBand is no exception: you need to be able to get an audio signal into the application and you need to be able to get an audio signal out. Since GarageBand is an audio recording application that's made exclusively to run on Mac OS X, in this course we'll be focusing only on the Mac as a hardware platform for working with audio. Every Mac has some combination of audio in and out ports. You'll have to look up the specs for your particular machine if you're not sure what your computer offers.
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  1. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 23m 4s
    1. Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers
      4m 24s
    2. Setting important Mac OS X and GarageBand preferences
      4m 32s
    3. Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key
      4m 37s
    4. Creating a track
      9m 31s
  3. 25m 42s
    1. Exploring Real Instrument tracks and setting a good input level
      6m 20s
    2. Exploring Software Instrument tracks, keyboard velocity, and MIDI
      6m 59s
    3. Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring
      7m 48s
    4. Positioning the cursor on audio regions to access different tools
      4m 35s
  4. 10m 23s
    1. Choosing a genre in the Project Chooser
      2m 3s
    2. Auditioning players in the band and hiring new players
      8m 20s
  5. 16m 45s
    1. Browsing and filtering the Apple Loops library
      5m 20s
    2. Dragging Apple Loops into your arrangement and choosing from alts
      6m 33s
    3. Jamming along with your composition
      4m 52s
  6. 35m 11s
    1. Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop
      5m 22s
    2. Using GarageBand as a scratchpad for recording new ideas
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Arrange track to create song form sections
      3m 1s
    4. Splitting Apple Loops and choosing alternates to build a drum part
      6m 36s
    5. Recording multiple takes with cycle record
      4m 32s
    6. Punching in a small section of audio
      6m 20s
    7. Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance
      5m 51s
  7. 33m 56s
    1. Tuning up and tracking a rhythm electric guitar part
      4m 26s
    2. Customizing the guitar sound using amps, stompboxes, and effects
      11m 44s
    3. Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part
      7m 40s
    4. Using Cycle Record to record multiple takes for soloing
      3m 40s
    5. Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes
      6m 26s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Recording a Software Instrument track
      3m 48s
    2. Editing the parameters of Software Instruments
      8m 44s
    3. Editing MIDI notes in the piano roll editor after the performance
      6m 53s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Recording lead vocals
      6m 39s
    2. Correcting pitch with automatic tuning
      4m 16s
    3. Reordering, duplicating, and deleting song sections using the Arrangement track
      3m 17s
  10. 1h 7m
    1. Creating successful mixes
      7m 4s
    2. Pre-mixing
      15m 31s
    3. Equalizing tracks
      5m 51s
    4. Compressing tracks
      10m 13s
    5. Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks
      6m 39s
    6. Creating automated volume and pan moves
      10m 41s
    7. Freezing tracks to improve system performance
      2m 0s
    8. Using master track effects and automating a fade-out
      3m 31s
    9. Creating a final mixdown: Exporting a finished song to disk
      5m 40s
  11. 12m 51s
    1. Sharing your songs with iTunes and burning CDs
      3m 6s
    2. Opening a GarageBand project in Logic
      4m 26s
    3. Archiving GarageBand project files
      5m 19s
  12. 36m 44s
    1. Taking music lessons
      7m 32s
    2. Creating ringtones
      3m 50s
    3. Creating podcasts
      14m 12s
    4. Scoring a movie
      11m 10s
  13. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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GarageBand '11 Essential Training
4h 58m Beginner Jul 29, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is a comprehensive guide to the popular digital audio software from Apple, demonstrating the tools and techniques to create, edit, and publish music and podcasts. Author Todd Howard covers the ins and outs of the application, from interfacing with external devices, exploring Apple Loops, and recording instrument and vocal tracks to creating successful mixes, performing edits, and sharing finished projects. Additionally, the course introduces the new features in GarageBand '11, including Flex Time and Groove Matching, which provide powerful methods for editing and tightening up the rhythmic timing of tracks.

Topics include:
  • Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, and speakers
  • Creating a project and specifying tempo, time signature, and key
  • Jumpstarting the recording process with Magic GarageBand
  • Recording real instruments, software instruments, and electric guitar tracks
  • Compositing a final track from multiple takes
  • Creating, naming, and organizing song sections using the Arrangement track
  • Equalizing and compressing tracks
  • Adding reverb and echo effects
  • Sharing songs with iTunes and Logic Pro
  • Archiving GarageBand project files
  • Taking guitar and piano lessons
  • Creating podcasts, movies scores, and ringtones
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
GarageBand
Author:
Todd Howard

Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers

There's one thing that every audio recording application on the market has in common, and GarageBand is no exception: you need to be able to get an audio signal into the application and you need to be able to get an audio signal out. Since GarageBand is an audio recording application that's made exclusively to run on Mac OS X, in this course we'll be focusing only on the Mac as a hardware platform for working with audio. Every Mac has some combination of audio in and out ports. You'll have to look up the specs for your particular machine if you're not sure what your computer offers.

Your Mac may have a built-in analog audio in and out, or optical digital in and out, or a combination of these. There are so many permutations of audio gear and connector types available these days that there's no way to exhaustively cover this subject in this course. But do check out the Digital Audio Principles course with Dave Schroeder, here on the lynda.com Online Training Library. Dave goes into great depth about all of these variations on the theme of getting audio signals in and out of your computer. In addition to the analog and digital audio line in and out ports on your Mac, you also have USB, FireWire, and Thunderbolt available to you.

This opens up a more flexible way to get audio in and out of your Mac. While the built-in audio ports on your Mac are useful, many of you will find everything you need in one device called a digital audio interface. There are dozens of manufacturers that make digital audio interfaces. These devices are designed to operate between your audio source and your computer and then on the way back out between your computer and your speakers or a studio monitors or headphones. Sometimes called digital I/Os or audio in/out boxes, they come in many shapes sizes and prize ranges.

The one you choose will largely depend on your budget and the number of simultaneous ins and outs that you may need. Some questions to ask yourself might be, are you going to want to record a whole band at once, or will it just be yourself, or you and one other musician? This will determine the number of inputs you need. Will you be wanting to send audio back out to 5.1 surround sound speakers or just a stereo pair of monitors or maybe just headphones? This will determine how many outs you need. Some other factors to consider in choosing an audio interface might be, do your microphones require 48V phantom power? If so, your I/O will need to have that feature.

Will you be recording instruments like guitars and basses connected directly to your interface? If so, you'll need to have an interface that offers instrument-level inputs, as well as line-level or microphone inputs. Finally, will you want to plug headphones into your interface to monitor while you're playing without having your speakers turned up? Make sure to get an I/O with a headphone jack on the front, preferably one with a separate volume. For this course I'll be using the Apogee ONE interface. It's a USB interface of a built-in condenser mic and also has a mic preamp with phantom power, so you can use your own mics as well.

It comes with a Y adapter allowing you to connect an XLR cable for a microphone or a quarter-inch jack instrument input for use with electric guitar, bass, or keyboards. The only other connection type you'll need to think about it is a MIDI USB connector to connect your MIDI keyboard or other MIDI controller to your computer. Almost all MIDI controller devices now come with a MIDI-to-USB converter built in, and this means you can just plug in your USB cable and start playing with all of the various software instruments available in GarageBand. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

If you don't know what a software instrument is, we'll be covering them extensively in a later chapter. One quick tip before we move on to the next movie: anytime you've all your devices connected according to the manufacturer's instructions and your computer's powered up and ready to go but for some reason you aren't getting any sound in or sound out, things just don't seem to be working the way they're supposed to, the first troubleshooting step for getting everything working again is always to shut down your computer, power off all of your devices, including the audio interface, your MIDI many keyboard, or USB mic, and reseat all of your connections.

This just means and unplug your USB and FireWire cables from your computer and your devices and reconnect them all, making sure they're seated properly in their respective ports. Once everything is reconnected, power up all of your external devices first-- this means any external hard drives and printers, et cetera, plus your audio interface and MIDI controller, and then boot up your Mac. Most of the time this simple procedure will solve the problem.

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